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Wednesday, November 6, 2019
HORNETS VS PACERS
Venue: Spectrum Center | Start: 11:00am AEDT
Goga Bitadke takes his shot-blocking show on the road Tuesday night when the Indiana Pacers visit the Charlotte Hornets. Such is the current state of the Pacers-Hornets rivalry, one in which Victor Oladipo had a 21-point outing last season, Myles Turner a 16-rebound game and Kemba Walker a 34-point explosion. None will be on the Charlotte floor Tuesday. But Bitadke will, and that might be worth the price of admission in and of itself. The 20-year-old from the country of Georgia whose idol is Zaza Pachulia took the league by storm last week in just his third and fourth NBA games, blocking four shots in each while helping the Pacers extend their winning streak to three. With the matchup lacking its previous starpower, defense figures to be at a premium, with the Pacers having held each of their last two opponents to 95 points, while the Hornets are coming off a 93-87 win over Golden State. The key to victory might be found on the offensive glass, where each team averages double figures this season. The Hornets retrieved two of their own missed free throws in the final seconds to save their win against the Warriors.
Win: Charlotte Hornets
Line: Charlotte Hornets +2.5
Total Points: Over 212.5
CAVALIERS VS CELTICS
Venue: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse | Start: 11:00am AEDT
The Boston Celtics hope to extend their winning streak to five games when they visit the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. Boston is coming off a 104-102 win against the New York Knicks that contained some uncertain moments but ended just fine for Celtics coach Brad Stevens and the rest of his roster. Boston is benefiting from a great start by veteran point guard Kemba Walker, who is in his first season with the Celtics after spending the previous eight seasons in Charlotte. Walker is averaging a team-high 26.2 points to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.8 assists per contest in his first five starts. Wing player Jayson Tatum is not far behind with an average of 22.0 points to go along with 7.6 boards and 2.2 assists. Boston is 1-1 on the road this season as it heads to Cleveland, which owns a 2-1 record on its home court. The Cavaliers will try to bounce back from a disappointing 131-111 loss to the Dallas Mavericks in their last performance. Kevin Love had 29 points and eight rebounds in the lopsided loss, while Tristan Thompson contributed a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Win: Boston Celtics
Line: Boston Celtics -5.5
Total Points: Under 213.5
HAWKS VS SPURS
Venue: State Farm Arena | Start: 11:30am AEDT
The Atlanta Hawks are expected to become whole again with the return of guard Trae Young in Tuesday’s home game against the San Antonio Spurs. Young has been out since he sprained his ankle last week against the Miami Heat but returned to practice Monday and figures to see action Tuesday. The second-year dynamo has scored 26.8 points per game with 7.3 assists. The Hawks are looking to shake a three-game losing streak, with the last two defeats in that run coming against the Heat. The Hawks have not played since Halloween night, falling 106-97 at home against Miami. The Spurs have seen some struggles of their own, losing two of their last three games with both defeats coming to each Los Angeles team. Before falling 103-97 to the Clippers on Thursday, the Spurs had opened the season 3-0. Dejounte Murray scored 18 points with 11 rebounds for San Antonio on Sunday in a 103-96 loss to the Lakers. DeMar DeRozan was held to 14 points in that one after scoring 13 in a victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday. DeRozan had averaged 23.8 points over the Spurs’ first four games. San Antonio was just 6 of 25 from 3-point range Sunday.
Win: Atlanta Hawks
Line: Atlanta Hawks +3.5
Total Points: Over 215.5
BULLS VS LAKERS
Venue: United Center | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
The Los Angeles Lakers will go for their sixth win in a row when they visit the reeling Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night. Los Angeles dropped its season opener but has been nearly flawless since then, showing itself as an early contender in the Western Conference. Anthony Davis paces the team with 28.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game, and LeBron James also is averaging a double-double with 25.5 points and 11.2 assists. Danny Green, Avery Bradley and Kyle Kuzma also are scoring options for Los Angeles, which will not make it easy for Chicago. The Bulls’ main problem this year has been playing consistent defense — a point that head coach Jim Boylen has harped on repeatedly during interviews. Boylen will look to get more out of Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, who seem to rotate big games but have yet to do so in tandem this season. Wendell Carter Jr. has provided a burst of energy in the interior, and the Bulls will need him to stay out of foul trouble to help compete with the Lakers’ frontcourt. Chicago is 1-1 at home this season and won its most recent game at the United Center against the Detroit Pistons.
Win: Los Angeles Lakers
Line: Los Angeles Lakers -6.5
Total Points: Under 215.5
THUNDER VS MAGIC
Venue: Chesapeake Energy Arena | Start: 12:00pm AEDT
Coming off just their second victory of the season, the Oklahoma City Thunder will play host to the low-scoring Orlando Magic on Tuesday. Home has been where the two Thunder victories have been located, with 115-104 triumph over the New Orleans Pelicans coming Saturday. Second-year guard and first-year Thunder starter Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 23 points Saturday, the fourth time in six games he has led the team in scoring. The guards led the way for Oklahoma City as Dennis Schroder led the team with nine rebounds (along with 17 points) and Chris Paul led with nine assists (and 15 points). The Thunder have gone guard-heavy with the absence of center Steven Adams, who has missed two games with a knee injury. The Magic scored just 87 points in a loss to the Nuggets on Saturday and have not scored 100 points in any game this season. Orlando went 7 of 25 from the field in a decisive third quarter against Denver. Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams has missed two consecutive games with a left hip contusion. Markelle Fultz, the first overall draft pick by the Philadelphia 76ers, got his first start with the Magic on Saturday and scored nine points on 4 of 7 shooting.
Win: Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Orlando Magic +3.5
Total Points: Over 204.0
NUGGETS VS HEAT
Venue: Pepsi Center | Start: 1:00pm AEDT
The Miami Heat will take their quick-strike offense on the road with a matchup Tuesday against a Denver Nuggets team that has hit something of a hiccup of late. The Heat jumped the Houston Rockets in historic fashion Sunday, racing out to a 46-14 lead after one quarter, the third largest advantage after the opening 12 minutes in the shot-clock era. The Heat rolled to a 129-100 victory, holding Russell Westbrook to just 10 points. Duncan Robinson scored 23 points, while Meyers Leonard had 21 as the Heat improved to 5-1, tied for the best start after six games in franchise history. The Nuggets will enter off a victory over the Orlando Magic, but they scored just 91 points while doing so, the first time they have been under 100 this season. In the two games prior to that low-scoring affair, Denver was defeated by the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets won Saturday’s game at Orlando despite shooting just 37.0 percent from the field but they had an edge about them in the second half. Denver not only scored 29 third-quarter points, Nikola Jokic scored 16 of his 20 points after the break. Nuggets forward Will Barton has missed two consecutive games with a left toe injury.
Win: Denver Nuggets
Line: Miami Heat +4.5
Total Points: Under 209.5